how the world sees america

Lancaster Muslims After 9/11: No Politics

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"Is it worth it, having to convince someone you're not a terrorist for five hours in an airport, just to visit America?" After 9/11, Afzal Essa's answer is no.

I have dropped by Lancaster Ilahi Mosque before prayers to ask about people's experiences as Muslims in this Northwest England town. Some tell me they feel completely free to practice their religion where they are. 9/11 doesn't seem to have diminished that here, but it has created more distance between them and America, making some more reluctant to head to the United States.

Which might explain in part why the elderly men I first approach relaxing outside the mosque meet me with some reserve. They tell me to speak with the Imam because they don't care for politics. The Imam later explains, "We try to stay far away from politics. It doesn't concern us."

With a crowd of younger Muslim men, around my age, a conversation strikes up easily. “Brother, we face racism like Muslims in any Western country,” a young Muslim man tells me at the Lancaster Ilahi Mosque. But “we also can practice our religion freely.” “In ways,” a bearded man continues, “We are able to practice our religion here better than in Pakistan,” because “here it is a conscious choice to practice.”

After services end, I spend the afternoon walking around Lancaster city center with Afzal, a young Muslim accountant who grew up in Zambia, but whose family originally came from India. I ask him about his experiences with racism in Britain, about how 9/11 affected him, and about whether he'd like to travel to America.

He replies to the last question first: "Why would i want to go to America? There's no history there. What is it, 200 years old? London has everything New York does."

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Comments (57)

Juanita:

To Khalid Q Awan; I am very sorry for the gross injustice you and your family has suffered. I don't know the words that would make you feel better but please know that there are thousands, and most likely hundreds of thousands that feel as I do. Those that do not, don't fully understand the "idea" that is America for she still is a work in progress. One day, I hope very soon, your time in jail will be far behind you and you'll be free to live your life as you wish with your family, where ever it is you want to be. As an American I for one apologize.
Peace, Juanita

mohsin:

khalid awan was arrested after 9/11 soon in newyork by the FBI. He was investigated in many cases but all sides he proved not guilty /innocent . since now how can they found him after 5 years guilty not in 9/11 cases.-with indian khalistan. astonishable .A conspiracy against khalid awan BECAUSE FBI wants to use khalid awan for their own special interests against Pakistan,Canada and also India through this Special,Fabricated,moulded,Modified,Preplanned,Bogus case. actual nothing in case . now they preplaned a story with the help of blinds. unjustice against a pakistani / canadian khalid awan .

A pakistani canadian :

Dear Sir / Madam
I am 46 years old, Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan (Muslim). I was an immigration consultant in Canada and as part of my business; I had an office in New York.
During 2001 immediately after the Sept 11, event the US govt arrested me on Oct 25, 2001 on anonymous call, as a material witness for the 9/11 world trade centre terrorist attack. A detail investigation by the FBI and USA Naval intelligence dept was conducted and I was cleared, but even then govt put me in front of Grand jury, and I was cleared and the case was dismissed by the Grand jury of the US Federal Court.
Approximately after 2 weeks , before I was released from custody the US Govt imposed a new charges of Fraud and money laundering , under the advice of my attorney , I pleaded guilty and I was sentenced to prison for five years (which was four years more, what I pleaded). In which I had already spent 3 years in Detention jail, during the case , I had about 14 months left to finishing my sentence ,(instead of appealing, I preferred to applied for Treaty Transfer to Canada, because if the case is in the appeal, defendant is not eligible for transfer back to his home country).
While at prison, I learned from the case manager Miss House, that my citizen was incorrect in the FBOP’s (Federal Bureau of Prison) computer system as Pakistani instead of Canadian.
Its important to note , that all of my Canadian identifications (passport , citizenship card , S.I.N , Health card , Driving license etc) were under FBI’s possession, with a great deal of concern, I wrote a letter to the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, N.Y to notify such mistake and requested them to fix this problem. This is especially important for Treaty Transfer back to Canada.
The Canadian Consulate official sent a letter to the jail to correct my citizenship status, however FBOP ignored the request and the citizenship status in the FBOP computer still reflect Pakistani instead of Canadian (Note: - I would be required to obtain visa to visit Pakistan) .In contrast, the deportation letter received from US Immigration dept, Contained the correct citizenship status of Canada.
At the hindsight, I believe that the FBOP intentionally left the citizenship as Pakistani, so that they could retained me at their facility, while the govt is planning to file new charges against me 3rd time.
Approximately six weeks before my released date on Jan 30, 2006 I was notified by the FBOP that I was being transferred from Ellenwood, PA to MDC (Metropolitan Detention Centre) in Brooklyn N.Y, it was explained to me, that the purpose of this transfer was in preparation for deportation back to Canada, (after few days, I signed the immigration deportation papers, with my consular Miss Chen).
But immediately after my arriving to MDC Brooklyn, I discovered during a phone call with my family in Montreal, that RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) official had contacted my sister and brother-in-law regarding the whereabouts of my wife and my current situation, there was no explanation given by the RCMP official to the purpose of the call and he left his phone number and asked my wife to call him back immediately, my wife called the RCMP official and left messages in his voice mail. Then the official contacted my brother-in-law again and had asked him to tell my wife not to call again, because there is nothing good nor anything bad.
Meanwhile the AUSA (United States Attorney) office Investigator and FBI brought me to their office to be interrogated without an attorney present, even AUSA told in the court to the judge on March 16, 2006 that he arranged attorney for me before my arrival from Ellenwood PA to MDC Brooklyn, N.Y, on Transcript; page 11, Transcript line No: 14 to 23.
AUSA: - He (Khalid Awan) was writ in the cause of a grand jury investigation. He clearly had criminal exposure. So to protect his interest I made an application to the duty magistrate for counsel to be appointed.
THE COURT: - Initially he was brought here by a Court to testify before the grand jury?
AUSA: - That is correct, Your Honour.

THE COURT: - When he arrived here, you made arrangements for an attorney to be pointed to request him?
AUSA: - Yes, Your Honour.
This interrogation started with the AUSA office Investigator stating that my family will be arrested in Canada if I refused to answer their questions.
At this point I am certain that my family is in great danger for reasons that I am not aware of. I was scared that my family would be harassed by these people along with the Canadian RCMP official; I strongly believe that the RCMP is doing this intentionally in collaboration with FBI official to further harass me to admit charges that I never committed.
Without knowledge of the reasons why the Canadian RCMP agency was involved. I was surprised that RCMP official directly approached my family instead of me without proper explanation, and its also shocked for me, that how RCMP got the phone number of my family (because before my arrest, I don’t have any single record in any police dept, of any country).
I was intimated and pushed to the edge during this interrogation; I was determined to provide anything these USA officials wanted to make them happy even is the questions made no sense, because I want them to stop the harassment to my family.
On March 15, 2006 I completed the term of my imprisonment and was to be released from American Custody and deported back to Canada. Before that I was arrested again 3rd time, and charged with providing “material support to a foreign terrorist” and money laundering (to an organization and person, which are not designated by the USA govt and belongs to Sikh religion).
These charges emerged while I was still in prison and without the capability of providing any type of support. It was even difficult for me to get enough financial assistance to pay legal fees. I could not have provided any material support while I was in prison for five years and I could not launder any money because I did not have any.
AUSA filed three counts of indictment against me.
Conspiracy to provide material support.
Provide a material support to the foreign terrorist.
Money laundering to support terrorism.
(Please note, that in my previous case govt charged me for money laundering and fraud from Jan 1999 to 2002 and “its mentioned in the plea-agreement by the AUSA that no further money laundering charges will be brought against defendant from Jan 1999 to April 2002” even then govt indict me for money laundering from 1998 to Nov 2001 (Which is double Jeopardy and violation of 5th Amendment of U.S Constitution.)
In Oct 2006, during pre-trial hearing on the motions filed by my attorney the first two counts of my indictment were dismissed by the judge, stating that there is a lack of facts and figures.
After two weeks AUSA re-indicted me again. I believe this is a desperate act of the AUSA to cover up a huge embarrassment. Further this hastily drawn indictment was full of factual errors and creative legal theories.
Since I was first arrested by the American govt, I believe that I have been singled out, isolated and discriminated against primarily because of my race and religion, in addition to the fact that I don’t know any information that the American govt is trying to pressure out of me.
I do not understand the American laws and this is what led to my pleading guilty in the first case. I have difficulty understanding the new charges also.
I have been charged under, section 2339(a) of Title 18 of the United States code, which makes it illegal to provide material support to a foreign terrorist.
Please understand, I am not a terrorist, I do not know any terrorist and I have had no connections with or to any known or unknown terrorist. I have been incarcerated for last 5 years and I had no money to provide or launder.
The law enforcement have in America is pressuring me to provide information to them that I really do not have or know. I am a Canadian Citizen and nearly all of my family is in Canada, including my wife and kids. I don’t know any information to tell them to help their investigation.
Because of this, I am being treated unfairly and my rights under the American constitution are being violated. I am being held here in further detention against my will for crimes which I could have never committed, because I was in prison.
I believe that I am a victim of the discrimination that was outlined in the July 3, 2006 issue of Time magazine (Page 29, column 3). In this article section 2339(a) & (b) are discussed and criticized “as most suspects are charged under these two sections. However, the justice dept here in America admits that of the more than 218 guilty pleas that it has obtained, most are for minor investigation issues that are uncovered deeding the course of their terrorism investigation. This suggest, according to the article that the Attorney General’s office have is not concerned about the rights or fairness or the manner in which it achieves convictions for the people they arrest. Furthermore, criticizes have noted that one of the patterns to emerge from these domestic prosecutions is that suspect seen too incompetent to carry out the deeds they are accused of. The Deputy Attorney General acknowledges that the Dept of Justice’s goal is “preventions through prosecutions” and this is done with no regard for an individual’s rights.
I agree that these guilty of terrorism should be prosecuted. But as the above mentioned article suggest, innocent people should not be targeted because of their race or religion.
I am not a terrorist and I should not be targeted and treated unfairly and unjustly.
I need your assistance desperately in my case, as I believe that I am being treated unjustly here. I would like to send you my attorney’s contact information and provide you with legal documents related to my case, so that you may become more familiar with my situation.
Please also note, that I appeared in the court , for no guilty of my 2nd superseding indictment on Aug 02, 2006 and on Aug 03, 2006 FBOP officials placed me in the SHU (Segregation Housing Unit) out of these months, I placed in the SHU isolation from Aug 03, 2006 to March 6, 2007 for unknown “Pending Investigation” in these 215 days of my segregation and isolation, I don’t have a single phone call access to my family, no legal calls to my attorney and Canadian Council, my legal mail opened in my absence, no medical treatment for my injured shoulder (even I went for hunger strike for 3 and half day) I harassed by the various jail officials and lot of other problems too which already been submitted in the attention of the FBOP higher authorities, but no action taken on them, after writing the court, instead of receiving the response or any action on my complaints, jail officials removed /moved me from MDC federal facility to Nassau County Jail .
My suffering has gone on for far too long, and I need your help to bring my suffering to an end. I want to return home to my family, because my imprisonment was injustice and will remain a great injustice forever.
May God bless you and be with you in your efforts to champion the cause of human rights, and the suffering of innocent prisoners and restore hope, faith and love to peoples all over the world.
Sincerely,
KHALID AWAN
FBOP NO. 50959-054

Ali Kurdi:

Lots of Anti-American false propagandas and baseless fabrications.One needs to seek the truth before making any kind of judgement. The extent of freedom that the muslims enjoy in this country is found no where else in the entire world.

Amar C. Bakshi:

JRLR,

Have a wonderful trip! I look forward to hearing about it upon your return.

ORL,

You raise an interesting point. Many people I've met in the UK say: "We are with the American people, but against your government." To what degree are they necessarily connected? Important question.

A fascinating discussion has gone on here. I'm looking forward to writing a longer response shortly. And I would love any of your suggestions for future interviews.

A Pakistani Muslim :

Canadian / Pakistani Khalid Q Awan Facing Unjustice after 9/11 in USA.

Khalid Q Awan detainee is now facing different preplanned, Fabricated charges in NewYork USA during his jail period,Khalid Awan is now looking forward your special attention and help towards this case for saving his innocent life. As we know, he is innocent and you can do further correspondence with him in detention centre NewYork USA and his attorney Khuram and Maher LLP NewYork to find out the reality and truth, and to bring the reality in front of the world that no innocent face that kind of the situation in future.
Khalid Q Awan detainee himself disagree with the charges imposed on him by the FBI, The charges are not related with him by all means. How can be possible a person in jail /custody since 9/11 now become terrorist while he proved not guilty in the same court in the past. So he is looking forward your help to get the justice and Clear and fair investigation in these imposed fabricated charges. It is possible with the involvement of the organizations like your’s, so that the innocent will come back to his normal life This is the mission of the human rights commission that innocents to be protected in all over the world from injustice ,and illegal Custody.
As by the press reports and by governments officials, In the court room only FBI representatives and some press reporters were present and no one else was there to see what is going over.

Help requested from high officials in Canada, U.S.A, and UNO & also from the NGOS who work for the human rights in all over the world.
Once again the request for find out the truth and reality in the above case.
With best wishes and regards
The whole family and relatives of Khalid Q Awan from Canada and Pakistan.

Dear Sir / Madam

I am 46 years old, Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan (Muslim). I was an immigration consultant in Canada and as part of my business , I had an office in New York.
During 2001 immediately after the Sept 11, event the US govt arrested me on Oct 25, 2001 on anonymous call, as a material witness for the 9/11 world trade centre terrorist attack. A detail investigation by the FBI and USA Naval intelligence dept was conducted and I was cleared, but even then govt put me in front of Grand jury , and I was cleared and the case was dismissed by the Grand jury of the US Federal Court .
Approximately after 2 weeks , before I was released from custody the US Govt imposed a new charges of Fraud and money laundering , under the advice of my attorney , I pleaded guilty and I was sentenced to prison for five years (which was four years more, what I pleaded). In which I had already spent 3 years in Detention jail, during the case , I had about 14 months left to finishing my sentence ,(instead of appealing, I preferred to applied for Treaty Transfer to Canada, because if the case is in the appeal, defendant is not eligible for transfer back to his home country).
While at prison, I learned from the case manager Miss Mause, that my citizen was incorrect in the FBOP’s (Federal Bureau of Prison) computer system as Pakistani instead of Canadian.
Its important to note , that all of my Canadian identifications (passport , citizenship card , S.I.N , Health card Driving license etc) were under FBI’s possession, with a great deal of concern, I wrote a letter to the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, N.Y to notify such mistake and requested them to fix this problem. This is especially important for Treaty Transfer back to Canada.
The Canadian Consulate official sent a letter to the jail to correct my citizenship status, however FBOP ignored the request and the citizenship status in the FBOP computer still reflect Pakistani instead of Canadian (Note:- I would be required to obtain visa to visit Pakistan) .In contrast , the deportation letter received from US Immigration dept, Contained the correct citizenship status of Canada.
At the hindsight, I believe that the FBOP intentionally left the citizenship as Pakistani, so that they could retained me at their facility, while the govt is planning to file new charges against me 3rd time.
Approximately six weeks before my released date on Jan 30 ,2006 I was notified by the FBOP that I was being transferred from Ellenwood , PA to MDC (Metropolitan Detention Centre) in Brooklyn N.Y, it was explained to me, that the purpose of this transfer was in preparation for deportation back to Canada, (after few days, I signed the immigration deportation papers, with my consular Miss Chen).
But immediately after my arriving to MDC Brooklyn, I discovered during a phone call with my family in Montreal, that RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) official had contacted my sister and brother-in-law regarding the whereabouts of my wife and my current situation, there was no explanation given by the RCMP official to the purpose of the call and he left his phone number and asked my wife to call him back immediately, my wife called the RCMP official and left messages in his voice mail. Then the official contacted my brother-in-law again and had asked him to tell my wife not to call again, because there is nothing good nor anything bad.
Meanwhile the AUSA ( United States Attorney) office Investigator and FBI brought me to their office to be interrogated without an attorney present, even AUSA told in the court to the judge on March 16, 2006 that he arranged attorney for me before my arrival from Ellenwood PA to MDC Brooklyn, N.Y, on Transcript; page 11, Transcript line No: 14 to 23.

AUSA:- He (Khalid Awan) was writ in the cause of a grand jury investigation. He clearly had criminal exposure. So to protect his interest I made an application to the duty magistrate for counsel to be appointed.
THE COURT:- Initially he was brought here by a Court to testify before the grand jury?

AUSA:- That is correct, Your Honour.


THE COURT:- When he arrived here, you made arrangements for an attorney to be pointed to request him?

AUSA:- Yes, Your Honour.

This interrogation started with the AUSA office Investigator stating that my family will be arrested in Canada if I refused to answer their questions.
At this point I am certain that my family is in great danger for reasons that I am not aware of. I was scared that my family would be harassed by these people along with the Canadian RCMP official, I strongly believe that the RCMP is doing this intentionally in collaboration with FBI official to further harass me to admit charges, that I never committed.
Without knowledge of the reasons why the Canadian RCMP agency was involved. I was surprised that RCMP official directly approached my family instead of me without proper explanation, and its also shocked for me, that how RCMP got the phone number of my family (because before my arrest, I don’t have any single record in any police dept, of any country).
I was intimated and pushed to the edge during this interrogation, I was determined to provide anything these USA officials wanted to make them happy even is the questions made no sense, because I want them to stop the harassment to my family.
On March 15, 2006 I completed the term of my imprisonment and was to be released from American Custody and deported back to Canada. Before that I was arrested again 3rd time, and charged with providing “material support to a foreign terrorist” and money laundering (to a organization and person, which are not designated by the USA govt and belongs to Sikh religion).
These charges emerged while I was still in prison and without the capability of providing any type of support. It was even difficult for me to get enough financial assistance to pay legal fees. I could not have provided any material support while I was in prison for five years and I could not launder any money because I did not have any.
AUSA filed three counts of indictment against me.

Conspiracy to provide material support.
Provide a material support to the foreign terrorist.
Money laundering to support terrorism.

(Please note, that in my previous case govt charged me for money laundering and fraud from Jan 1999 to 2002 and “its mentioned in the plea-agreement by the AUSA that no further money laundering charges will be brought against defendant from Jan 1999 to April 2002” even then govt indict me for money laundering from 1998 to Nov 2001 (Which is double Jeopardy and violation of 5th Amendment of U.S Constitution.)
In Oct 2006, during pre-trial hearing on the motion’s filed by my attorney the first two counts of my indictment were dismissed by the judge, stating that there is a lack of facts and figures.
After two weeks AUSA re-indicted me again. I believe this is a desperate act of the AUSA to cover up a huge embarrassment . Further this hastily drawn indictment was full of factual errors and creative legal theories.

Since I was first arrested by the American govt, I believe that I have been singled out, isolated and discriminated against primarily because of my race and religion, in addition to the fact that I don’t know any information that the American govt is trying to pressure out of me.

I do not understand the American laws and this is what led to my pleading guilty in the first case. I have difficulty understanding the new charges also.

I have been charged under, section 2339(a) of Title 18 of the United States code, which makes it illegal to provide material support to a foreign terrorist.

Please understand, I am not a terrorist, I do not know any terrorist and I have had no connections with or to any known or unknown terrorist. I have been incarcerated for last 5 years and I had no money to provide or launder.

The law enforcement have in America is pressuring me to provide information to them that I really do not have or know. I am a Canadian Citizen and nearly all of my family is in Canada, including my wife and kids. I don’t know any information to tell them to help their investigation.
Because of this , I am being treated unfairly and my rights under the American constitution are being violated. I am being held here in further detention against my will for crimes which I could have never committed, because I was in prison.

I believe, that I am a victim of the discrimination that was outlined in the July 3, 2006 issue of Time magazine (Page 29, column 3). In this article section 2339(a) & (b) are discussed and criticized “as most suspects are charged under these two sections. However, the justice dept here in America admits that of the more than 218 guilty pleas that it has obtained, most are for minor investigation issues that are uncovered deeding the course of their terrorism investigation. This suggest, according to the article that the Attorney General’s office have is not concerned about the rights or fairness or the manner in which it achieves convictions for the people they arrest. Furthermore, criticizes have noted that one of the patterns to emerge from these domestic prosecutions is that suspect seen too incompetent to carry out the deeds they are accused of. The Deputy Attorney General acknowledges that the Dept of Justice’s goal is “ preventions through prosecution’s” and this is done with no regard for an individual’s rights.

I agree that these guilty of terrorism should be prosecuted . But as the above mentioned article suggest , innocent people should not be targeted because of their race or religion.
I am not a terrorist and I should not be targeted and treated unfairly and unjustly.
I need your assistance desperately in my case, as I believe that I am being treated unjustly here. I would like to send you my attorney’s contact information and provide you with legal documents related to my case, so that you may become more familiar with my situation.

Please also note, that I appeared in the court , for no guilty of my 2nd superseding indictment on Aug 02, 2006 and on Aug 03, 2006 FBOP officials placed me in the SHU (Segregation Housing Unit) out of these months, I placed in the SHU isolation from Aug 03, 2006 to March 6, 2007 for unknown “Pending Investigation” in these 215 days of my segregation and isolation, I don’t have a single phone call access to my family, no legal calls to my attorney and Canadian Council, my legal mail opened in my absence, no medical treatment for my injured shoulder (even I went for hunger strike for 3 and half day) I harassed by the various jail officials and lot of other problems too which already been submitted in the attention of the FBOP higher authorities, but no action taken on them, after writing the court, instead of receiving the response or any action on my complaints, jail officials removed /moved me from MDC federal facility to Nassau County Jail .
My suffering has gone on for far too long, and I need your help to bring my suffering to an end. I want to return home to my family, because my imprisonment was injustice and will remain a great injustice forever.

May God bless you and be with you in your efforts to champion the cause of human rights, and the suffering of innocent prisoners and restore hope, faith and love to peoples all over the world.

Sincerely,

KHALID AWAN
FBOP NO. 50959-054


Amar C. Bakshi:

Abd-Allah,

Thanks for the comment. Just wanted to let you know that I'm currently working on editing an interview with a group of Muslim men at a community center in Blackburn, UK, and they speak powerfully to what you are expressing. This post will be up shortly. Thanks for reading and check back for that tomorrow. Amar

Abd-Allah:

Now hold on a minute here. This interview seems to be very one sided. As a Muslim, i can tell you that over half of the Muslim population here, do not feel that way, as in the interview. Fair enough, it's one point of view, but i feel that the point should be put across, that 9/11 as had a knock on effect on the Muslims in Britain. There is greater suspicion of Muslims here. The word islam, or Muslim is a scary thing for some people.
Many people think that the several futile terror raids on innocent Muslim people shows how things have worsened. On the streets, its fair to say that 'brown people' are suspiciously looked at. Muslim wowmen wearing headscarves or niqabs are stared at as alien.
So in all, although some feel that 9/11 was nothing to them, for the majority, it wa something.
To me, it was a tragedy, and an inappropraite loss of life, but can't you see why it happened. Palestine, Bosnia & Serbia, Chechnya, Kashmir?
Frustration can play with your mind...

JRLR:

Amar, while you are presumably trying to recover from what appears to have been an exhausting week, I am leaving today for one week in the south of France: An unexpected present from dear ones, for my nnth anniversary. As you can well imagine, I cannot promise I shall be part of the journey during that time... I'll try and catch up when I return, if necessary.

Wishing you well and still enthusiastic about that unique (yet very demanding, no doubt) project of yours.

Regards.

ORL:

Usama wrote: "... the vast majority of Muslims throughout the world know enough that the American people are not responsible for the actions of their government abroad, or for the words, actions, or policies of powerful imperial elite in America."

I beg to differ. The American people are responsible, fully responsible. More than 58 million of them voted to reelect that creature, it being known all too well that creature's background of lies and deception.

WITH DEMOCRACY COMES RESPONSIBILITY.

Unless you wish to argue that democracy does not exist in the United States of America. In that case, what do you call that political regime system and regime?

Asim:

JDWILl,
Hezballah was born as a result of the brutal israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1982;
Hamas was born after and as a reaction to a 40 year brutal israeli occupation of the West Bank/Gaza and a 60-year occupation of 75% of all of historic Palestine-and the establishment of a Jewish zionist militristic, racist and APARTHEID state on all of Palestine.

CAIR is an American organization loyal to America and its objective is more understanding of Muslims and Islam-it does not cost the US taxpayers a single penny and vever asks the US to fight any wars on behalf of foreign or Muslim nations ;Compare CAIR to th monolithic AIPAC whose absolute loyalty is not to America but to Israel and has blackmailed congress as a matter of policy to scarifice American treasure and American lives to fight wars on behalf of Israel. The Iraq war would have never happened were it not for Isreal/AIPAC and love boy Wolfawitz and company.

MSA?? compare that to fascist Campus Watch created by the Polmict and Islam hater Daniel Pipes who wants to censor American Academic Freedom and obstruct American Professors and students from deabtiing the issue of Palestine.

Still have any doubts:read the two scholars from Harvard/Univ. of Chicago study on the Israeli Lobby/AIPAC.
When will the American People wake up to this nightmare of zionist bondage?

Usama:

One more thing, the vast majority of Muslims throughout the world know enough that the American people are not responsible for the actions of their government abroad, or for the words, actions, or policies of powerful imperial elite in America. And so though I mention a litany of condemnable actions by America abroad, in no way am I blaming all Americans. Rather, I am attempting to bring awareness of this legacy by chance people may act in a better, more advanced, more enlightened way in the future. For certainly, if a people do not know their past, how can they know to better their future, or are the condemned to repeat their past over and over? And by chance as America advances, so too can Muslims advance and both can share enlightenment and peace in the future, God willing.

Usama:

As for us Muslims in America, we are growing and progressing. It is not the nature of Islam to throw someone to the wolves because of their beliefs- contrary to ritewing scaremongering. Beliefs and ideas alone are not justification for ostracization. Thus, in most mosques in America, you can find a Salafi so called Wahhabi Arab, a secular Pakistani, a sufi Turk, and moderate American Muslim all praying together. In fact, just recently an imam encouraged people to love each other. In contrast, ritewing Christian Americans encourage division and hatred everywhere, including within mosques in America.

When Clinton was president, ritewing white, Christian terrorists attacked the White House more than once- one white Christian terrorist even flew his plane into the White House to kill Clinton. Another attacked the White House with his gun. Bomb and chemical weapon scares from ritewing terrorists were regular in Wash DC. Ritewingers call for hatred of liberals, hatred of their own people of the left, hatred of minorities and hatred of respect for minorities and that was all before 9/11.

Since 9/11, ritewingers have called for killing 100s of millions of Muslims and bombing Makka. They support torture, assasination, oppression of people. They have spread fear and hatred and war not just on the Muslim world, but within America to empower themselves. But Muslims in America were never fooled by them. And now the rest of America is awakening to the fearmongering, hatemongering, and scandalmongering by the ritewing.

As the tide of power shifts away from the ritewing, it is quite possible that ritewing terrorists will engage in terrorist attacks (bombs, chemical weapons, biological weapons) on America yet again in order to regain power. The biological weapon attacks on Democratic controlled Senate in 2001 and on media sources were never discovered, though likely from the ritewing. But I pray that God forbids this.

And may God bring peace to the world eventhough the enemies of God may hate it.

Dear ritewing warmongers:

Did you know America has been intervening, interfering, and obstructing developments in the Muslim world since WWII?

Did you know BECAUSE America thirsted after global hegemony, it targetted the Muslim world largely because it is rich with natural resources, geo-strategic positioning, and the homeland of a past world power with the potential to revive itself?

Did you know the CIA brought the Free Officers Movement in Egypt to power, giving Egypt and the Middle East Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak as dictators who served Ameirca. showing the world a legacy for American intervention?

Perhaps you know America brought the Iranian experiment with secular democracy to an end (which wanted to nationalize the oil industry) by assisting in the coup which brought the Shah Pahvali to power, who in turn privatized Iran's oil industry. But did you know the CIA brought the Baathists to power,with Nasser's help, in Syria and Iraq? And that America brough the Suharto dictatorship to power in Indonesia? And did you know the British assisted a colonel trained in Britain to power in Libya by the name of Moummar?

Did you know American 10th Special Forces trained the Chadian presidential guard who in turn has been confirmed to be training and working with Darfur rebel groups such as SLA? And now the SLA are armed well enough to shoot down aircraft and have rejected peace settlements- wanting complete autonomy for the Darfur regardless of the consequences on their people?
And did you know China has rights to the Darfur energy resources through Chad and Khartoum, but if Darfur were to secede from both nations, it would be able to reassign those oil and energy rights to America?

Did you know American special forces and private military contractors have trained Congolese rebels based in Uganda who in turn have stirred rebellion in east Congo, a nation rich in oil and precious metals?

And did you know American military 'advisors' have been training and likely joined with Ethiopian troops as they invaded Somalia, a region discovered to be rich with oil- oil rights that were originally granted to American oil firms by Siad Birre just prior to his overthrow in 1990/91?

And did you know America tricked Saddam into his invasion of Kuwait to create a pretext for American military presence on the ground in the Gulf permanently- an objective that Nixon AND Carter voiceda decades earlier?
And that American forces settled in the Arabian pennisula since 1990 was the antagonizing factor which brought Muslim militant violence and terrorism onto America?

And you have done nothing to change this, rather, you have intensified your brutality on the Muslim civilian population in Iraq to make it "pay" for its support for insurgency, a paraphrase of an American military commander in Iraq.

And today, America has wanted Iraq to privatize its oil industry, even Bremer signed an executive order to privatize it before he departed. And now America is lobbied Iraq to privatize its oil industry.

Did not God grant America bounty, wealth, riches, and beauty in America? Why must America conquer the rest of the world?

God says in the Quran in translation:
100:6-11 Most certainly, Man is ungrateful to his Lord. And to that fact he bears witness. And most certainly, he is violent in the love of wealth. Knows he not that when the contents of the graves are brought out and poured forth, And that which is in the breasts shall be made known, Most certainly, That Day their Lord will be well acquainted with them?

jdwill:

Dear Muslim posters,

Best wishes with your ijtihad (hope I spelled that correctly). May I humbly suggest that Western apprehension and security procedures are among the least of your troubles.

As long as you let radical (i.e., Hamas and Hezbollah) supported organizations like CAIR and AMC to speak for you in the halls of American government, the MSA to represent you on campuses, as long as your mosques take the Saudi Wahabbist lucre and allow the radicals and haters to control the microphone there, you are going have problems integrating in Western society because you are abetting the production of radicals in the West. For all we know, you are aiding as well, and perhaps knowingly.

In the meantime, the leading cause of premature Muslim death worldwide seems to be jihadi related. These seem to me, to be your problems.

So, good luck, quit whining, and get busy.

L'Angelo Mysterioso:

Unfortunately 95% of all worldwide terror is done
sinfully in the name of Allah. Moderate Islam has
not done enough to combat this thru the placing of
spies into terrorist networks. The use of cells for these spies with their Imams contacting various western intelligence agencies. Remember also that
history shows the Great Prophet lost 2 battles with his enemy, then made truce and saw that region convert to Islam within a 100 years. Conversion by the truth told in the Quran, not by the sword. As a christian who has read the english version of the Quran, I find many more similarities than differences between the Bible and Quran. I also have
a hard time reconciling "cast your spear thru the believer to kill the non-believer amongst you" with "help your neighbor believer or not" and Christians and Jews can go to heaven if they lead righteous lives.

Dan :

KJ
One article is not shouting from the rooftops. I dont see weekly marches for Islamist religious tolerance ANYWHERE. These people are having their religion stolen from them and they are taking the rest of the world down with them. There should be 100s of these websites. You see more opposition to the Iraq war. These people are loosing their religion and they still think suicide bombing is OK.
I will be the first to acknowledge that the RCC has issues. Bringing up the crusades is a bit silly though. Besides being 1000 years ago, we have apologized as a community several times for it. Maybe if you were trying to refute my point, you may point to a more recent series of events like the whole priest raping the boys thing. And here lies the hole in your argument. We, as a community shouted from the rooftops about it. We had marches, we had press conferences, (in fact we still are in Boston) we went after the shameful behavior of a few sick men and most importantly NEVER, EVER did you find any kind of tacit support for their behavior by the community. No, "well, we dont like it but we understand it". Where is that from the Muslim community?
As far as my religion, I mention it simply to identify myself and where my viewpoints are based.
finally, me, embarrassed. HA! I wont say something, either in person or on this faceless medium of the internet, if I don't believe it and stand by it. You sir embarrass yourself by trying to shame me with some kind of look-down-your-nose attitude. These posts are supposed to be a collection of people expressing their true feelings and thoughts. They are not meant for personal attacks and attempts at getting one up on the other guy. An old saying "show me the guy who gets personal in a debate, and i will show you the guy who lost the debate". Check yourself. Open your mind to views that may not your own. You may not like them but you should still listen and give them respect.

Chris, Malmo, Sweden:

Why would you plead guilty to something that you were not guilty of, regardless what the lawyer recommended? That is the most asinine thing that I have ever heard of anyone doing.

Once you had done that, you have essentially forfeited all and any rights that you may have had. Make them take it to trial. Even then, if found guilty somehow (presuming you were really innocent), you still retain the right to appeal without a judge's approval! Anytime, anyone pleads guilty they lose the right to appeal without some form of judicial approval. And I hate to say it, but pleading guilty is usually a sign of guilt! Duh!

If I am ever charged with a crime I know that I am innocent of doing, they will have to give me a jury trial. Period. No pleas, deals, nothing would change my mind. The moment anyone gives in to that principle, you are already lost.

Your attorney can only recommend, and if I have an attorney recommends that I plead guilty, when I am not, it is time to get a new attorney. ASAP.

Zeggae:

Americans generally are not as nice as they pretend to be. They will smile with you and seem cordial on the surface. These vitriolic racist and xenophobic posts from the annominity of the computer represent tens of millions of Americans. I lived in a country where they visit a lot as tourists, genrally they were nice. Scared they would be eaten by the natives but generally nice. I came to live here and the experience has changed my view completely. Where im from we are materially poor but sooo very rich on the human level. I had to come here to appreciate the humanity of my people

Zeggae:

Americans generally are not as nice as they pretend to be. They will smile with you and seem cordial on the surface. These vitriolic racist and xenophobic posts from the annominity of the computer represent tens of millions of Americans. I lived in a country where they visit a lot as tourists, genrally they were nice. Scared they would be eaten by the natives but generally nice. I came to live here and the experience has changed my view completely. Where im from we are materially poor but sooo very rich on the human level. I had to come here to appreciate the humanity of my people

gcb:

This is a great undertaking in human understanding. only when we can visit and learn of other humans from different cultures will we all realize how similar all humans are. Through this great internet exposure, we can we all begin to understand that the artificial divisions of religion are a thing of the past and present day homosapiens should evolve beyond them. I wish you all the best in your adventures and pray that you can begin this process .

Start actively protesting the terrorists, then:

When you start actively--ACTIVELY--protesting the likes of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists killing innocent civilians in the name of Islam--and when you stop funding them--then come talk to me about "intolerance." When you let Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc. into Mecca, then come talk to me about "intolerance." Until then, you have nothing of value to say regarding discrimination.

KJ:

Dan - here's the outrage, but only a small fraction of it:

http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

Unfortunately, the media ignores moderate Muslims who actually hate terrorism and would wash their hands of it. This is because sensationalist stories sell the most. Many Americans have been brainwashed because all that they hear on the news is nothing but car bombings, but those that actually disagree with the violence are tuned out.

As for you, you being Catholic has nothing to do with this; I don't even seen why you would bring it up. Your religion has enough problems that dates back to the bloody Crusades. Clean up your own backyard before you condemn others.

Do a little research before posting your point of view. It may save you the embarrassment.

KJ:

I just love the bigoted "stay out of my land" comments. This is not YOUR land; please get that through your collective thick skulls. You share this land with other people. You are not King or Queen. You are not royalty. In fact, you are nothing more than an insignificant speckle masquerading behind a newspaper message forum.

Americans are so filled with hatred and anger against anything that seems foreign. A lot of you all are worse than the Muslims you frequently complain about.

There are people who wish no ill will against the U.S., but simply hate the hassle of being treated like a terrorist just because of the color of their skin. Furthermore, those so-called "kidnappings and beheadings" that happen in foreign countries are very, very few. If not, you would be hearing about them often. Now how often do we hear about people getting killed here in the U.S. because of their race? Almost daily. Just check the crime reports in N.Y.

As a Westerner, I've been to the Middle East and can say that they have nothing but compassion and hospitality for other people, a lesson many of your bigoted people here could learn. I am glad that you all are in the minority.

Dan :

I am sorry. As an American and a Catholic I have a hard time feeling sorry for the bad feelings about Muslims. I don't feel bad that Muslims have to explain that they are not terrorists.
Western countries for years have welcomed Muslims with open arms and what have you done, your people attacked us. I keep hearing that the majority of Muslims dont think like the 9-11 terrorists did but where is the outrage? Where are the Muslims marching in the streets of the world AGAINST these nuts. No, what we get is a poll the other day that 1 in 4 Muslims think that suicide bombings are justified in defense of the religion. WHAT?!? Are you FREAKIN KIDDING me?
The moderate Muslims of the world should be shouting from the roof top to stop this insanity but what appears to be happening is tacit approval of the these nuts.
And while I am on a rant, where does the Muslim world get off identifying certain countries of the world as "theirs"? When you come to the west, we dont tell you that you cant practice your religion. (OK, France does but they are a bit wieird, and I cant answer for them.) We dont stop you from building mosques. You are welcomed as one more ingredient to the mixing pot. What do non-Muslims get in the "Muslim countries"? Persecution! Where is the moral outrage about that? Where are the masses of moderate Muslims protesting for freedom of religion and religious tolerance?
So, you will excuse us if we in the West say, enough is enough and profile the hell out of every person who looks, speaks, thinks, or behaves like a Muslim. Until the masses of what is constantly being referred to as the majority of Muslims stand up to these people who have hijacked your religion and say enough, and stop giving money to fund them, and stop giving them wink wink approval. I don't care if you are put out by our being overly cautious with someone how may be a nut and want to kill every non-Muslim too.

Mohammad:

Interrogation at airports makes you feel like a criminal even though you are not.

I was taken aside at San Francisco airpot out of all the passenger "randomly" then went through one hour of hell. Almost made me cry.

I will try to avoid travelling unless I really have to.

Jon:

wow! I am amazed by the superignorance comments here. Is it just the washington post readers or the Americans this moron? live in a muslim nation before judging their religion or country. They are not hostile and they dont hate westerners. You are all brainwashed by mass media and bush admin.

Fleur de Lys:

colorado kool aid writes: "... if you want to talk about discrimination, try being a westerner ... in a Muslim nation. Now THAT is hell on earth!"

I lived as a Westerner in the Muslim world, and with people who became Muslim friends, in England. That was before the war in Iraq.

In the Muslim world, I was always treated kindly, with respect, and found people most hospitable and curious about everything having to do with the West. As a man, I could go wherever I wanted to, alone, day and night, without being at all concerned about my security.

As devout religious people, Muslims have left in me a deep, permanent impression of devotion, of sincerity, of serene ascetism, of compassion and of generosity.

Living among them or with them has been anything but "hell on earth"!

GARY:

ALL THOSE OLD MEN SITTING OUTSIDE THE MOSQUE BETTER GET ON THEIR FEET AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE MURDERS IN THEIR MIDST. SURE WOULD DO ALOT TO CONVINCE ALL US WHITE DEVILS TO LIGHTEN UP.

colorado kool aid:

By all means, stay out of my country if the airport hassles are too much for you. But if you want to talk about discrimination, try being a westerner or a Jew in a Muslim nation. Now THAT is hell on earth! As for Emily's rant -- it is YOU who is the racist bigot. You paint everyone with a wide brush of judgement. It is you who is full of fear and ignorance!

rcubedkc:

Khalid, would you have rather traded places with Danny Pearle?

Anonymous:

Muslim terrorists disguise themselves as normal average citizens, then they try and blow up men, women and children. How is anyone to know if a muslim looking person in the spongebob squarepants t-shirt has a bomb in their pocket or not; who's to know? Better safe than sorry...

krenz4:

To ALL Muslims:
Please stay in your own 'holy and sacred land" and away from mine. You stomp all over every other religion on the face of the earth and want to be 'embraced' and tolerated and respected by those same religions. Yours is a religion of Hatred and intolerance. If I am wron, where is the outcry of 'real Muslims' to correct me? their silence has translated into approval of what is going on with your 'brothers'. You have found a way to blame everyone else for the deaths of your'brothers' while all the while it is your 'other brothers' who are setting off the bomb or pulling the trigger.
America has enough of its own problems without you demanding we import yours1 Do the whole world a huge favor and vacation in beautiful Bagdad with your own people. Leave America out your travel itenerary, PLEASE!

krenz4:

MIke;
Well said.

Jerry Smith:

America can welcome peaceable people no matter where they are from or what their religion. They must behave civilly while here, obey our laws, and leave when asked. And please don't blow up anything to make a statement.

Jim:

As an American, I am delighted to hear the folks on this page say how they would prefer not to come here. We already have at least 12 million illegal immigrants. Every year, tens of thousand more legal immigrants come. Many feel no loyalty whatsoever to their new country. It's not home. I worked in NYC government for more than a quarter century and time after time, in conversations with foreign born legal immigrants, they would refer to the country they left as "my country." To most of them, America is a bigger paycheck and educational opportunity for their children. They have no loyalty to the culture, are quick to defend America's enemies, and speak nostalgically about the place they left. So if you don't want to come to America, please, stay where you are.

Arnold:

No sympathy whatsoever for the 46 yr old Canadian muslim. Go back to your homeland, where it's just as intolerant and backward as pigs at the trough. As far as my experience goes, moslems act like pigs, wanting the advantages of everything just for themselves and showing no justice or respect to anyone who is non-muslim. There is NOT one other religion that that are NOT at war with..... Talk about rotten apples spoiling the barrel !! Nothing but death and misery accompany the Islamists, and IT IS their religion that spreads bigotry and hatred.... That is a major difference between Islam and Judaism and Christianity. We should not allow anymore muslim immigration..... Look at the horrible strife going on in Holland, England, and France, and Germany, caused by these nightmare Moslems, burning and ransacking cities in France and Germany and bombing London. It's the fruit of their belief which ye shall know them. I think the Europeans are slowly coming to realize this infestation is going to become a cancer, because culturally the Moslems believe it's MY way, or else.... Wake up Westerners, the take-over is underway!!!

Arnold:

No sympathy whatsoever for the 46 yr old Canadian muslim. Go back to your homeland, where it's just as intolerant and backward as pigs at the trough. As far as my experience goes, moslems act like pigs, wanting the advantages of everything just for themselves and showing no justice or respect to anyone who is non-muslim. There is NOT one other religion that that are NOT at war with..... Talk about rotten apples spoiling the barrel !! Nothing but death and misery accompany the Islamists, and IT IS their religion that spreads bigotry and hatred.... That is a major difference between Islam and Judaism and Christianity. We should not allow anymore muslim immigration..... Look at the horrible strife going on in Holland, England, and France, and Germany, caused by these nightmare Moslems, burning and ransacking cities in France and Germany and bombing London. It's the fruit of their belief which ye shall know them. I think the Europeans are slowly coming to realize this infestation is going to become a cancer, because culturally the Moslems believe it's MY way, or else.... Wake up Westerners, the take-over is underway!!!

nub:

"I saw a recent poll where 81% of Muslims in the UK indentified themselves first as Muslims, rather than British. The results in the US were "better" at "only" 47% identifying themselves as Muslims first. Interestingly, this is not even a question you hear asked of other religions, since asking someone if they were a Catholic or a Mormon before being American would probably get you a punch in the nose."

for the record, the implication made by the above commenter is false. american christians WERE asked the very same question in a previous poll, and the results were that 42% considered themselves christian first and american second. see here:

http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf

(relevant info is in top paragraph of page 31.)

you may now revise your worldview accordingly.

On the plantation:

The big cultural lesson of the 9/11 attack is that America no longer cares if you like us or not. Just stay on your side of the pond until your clan possibly merges into a nation, and then that nation gets 200 years of history in representative government. Meanwhile, find some space to post your infantile complaints on the Financial Times.

Marc:

I question the 'injustice' of Muslims being questioned when they arrive in the US (if in fact they do), when I've personally been grilled on EVERY entrance to the UK from the USA when I was in college... "Where are you going?" "Where are you staying?", etc.

It finally hit a wall when I was 27... quit my job, my girlfriend and planned on staying with a friend in London then onto France and Spain in a 'leased' car for 3 months. At immigration, they stopped us, dragged us each into separate rooms and started interrogating us as to what we were up to. I finally whipped out my AMEX, my Visa and my return ticket and they quickly let us go, but "Oh the indignity!!"

It happens to all of us everywhere, even rich white boys from the USA.

(Ever got stopped by the gendarmes in Paris wanting to see your papers??? It happens to EVERYONE not just Muslims.)

Marc:

I question the 'injustice' of Muslims being questioned when they arrive in the US (if in fact they do), when I've personally been grilled on EVERY entrance to the UK from the USA when I was in college... "Where are you going?" "Where are you staying?", etc.

It finally hit a wall when I was 27... quit my job, my girlfriend and planned on staying with a friend in London then onto France and Spain in a 'leased' car for 3 months. At immigration, they stopped us, dragged us each into separate rooms and started interrogating us as to what we were up to. I finally whipped out my AMEX, my Visa and my return ticket and they quickly let us go, but "Oh the indignity!!"

It happens to all of us everywhere, even rich white boys from the USA.

(Ever got stopped by the gendarmes in Paris wanting to see your papers??? It happens to EVERYONE not just Muslims.)

Emily:

America- that is, white, straight, male America- is terrified of the "other". It could be Indians, black people, immigrants, homosexuals, feminists, or Muslims. But whoever it is, they're going to face a pretty intense backlash from this America for simply existing..

So when these users comment that "that's the price you pay", they mean that's the price you pay for being born in the skin you're in, and to hell with justice or rights or your dignity, as long as they have some peace of mind, they're fine with it.

I love America, but these people make me so sad. I wish they could see past their own fear and ignorance.

JRLR:

I know many non-Muslims who refuse to come to the US under the present conditions.

They say they are not prepared to accept “being treated like “criminal suspects” in order to go and spend money as visitors or tourists in the US”.

They point to friends and acquaintances who, they claim, have been treated most rudely (euphemism), and publicly, at their point of entry into the US, having been delayed unreasonably, searched and interrogated disrespectfully, fingerprinted, etc.

Such stories have been reported many times and widely, in the media, outside the US, even in China where it was said many Chinese business people had come to insist their American counterparts come and meet them in China. Among others, I have heard Canadians who had visited the US regularly, since early childhood, complain bitterly after the Maher Arar affair (transiting through New York, that Canadian was deported to Syria by US authorities and tortured), as well as after a nine year old Canadian traveler had been detained in solitary in a Texas prison (his family, originally from Iran, was traveling on a direct flight to Canada and the pilot had had to make an emergency landing in the US), etc. Those people say they object to such treatment and insist they will not visit the US as long as such conditions prevail whereby “people can even be kidnapped on the streets by US government agents” (they point those incidents that happened in Italy, for instance)…

What I find disturbing, in the above document, is to see how ill at ease, embarrassed even, Afzal seems to be, giving his “honest opinion” when answering relatively innocuous questions. The man looks frightened to me (not to say terrorized), insisting “you can’t speak your own mind” without risking being “held as a terrorist”. While this does not surprise me, I believe that state of affairs is most unhealthy. The phrase “you can’t speak your own mind” sounds like it comes straight out of Eastern Europe, when it was considered people there were living under a dictatorship.

It is my opinion that compromising democracy does not make for a safer world. It is not by terrorizing honest, ordinary citizens that political and security authorities will make us live in a safer world. I do not buy that: "We try to stay far away from politics. It doesn't concern us." On the contrary, in such a social context, dissidence very much subsists, has to go and does go underground. Until such time as some mighty explosion forces us all to awake to reality and regret that democracy lost… hopefully not too late to have it resurrect.

Mike:

I am always amazed when Muslims feign shock and indignation at travel restrictions or other petty discriminations. I mean where have they been for the past five years. Muslims need to know that they are paying the price for their silent tolerence of terrorism in the name of Islam. Muslims the world over have allowed terrorists to hijack their faith; they need to accept the consequences of belonging to a faith now widely viewed as violent, intolerant and dangerous. It should be no surprise that the outside world is starting to close its doors to Muslims. They have no one to blame but their own silence.

Rory Calhoun:

Do we really need to read that same form letter screed in each talkback? How oppressed can this guy be if he or his media campaign are constantly trolling the Washington Post? Leonard Peltier much be gnawing his fist in jealousy.

I saw a recent poll where 81% of Muslims in the UK indentified themselves first as Muslims, rather than British. The results in the US were "better" at "only" 47% identifying themselves as Muslims first. Interestingly, this is not even a question you hear asked of other religions, since asking someone if they were a Catholic or a Mormon before being American would probably get you a punch in the nose.

The real problem is that Muslims drone on about equality and discrimination and ignorance/misunderstandings of Islam, while giving nothing of the sort to others. Few Muslims I've met, and I've met many, have any interest in assimilation. They discriminate wildly against even other types of Muslims and yet people claim America somehow lost the moral high ground. If Muslims want to be accepted it is up to THEM to change to be accepted in the societies that they entire, not whine about not being treated like it's the 1400s.

Pen:

Unfortunate to read about plights of fellow muslims. Muslims are going through a period of hardship and sufferings. Yes, the world is showing intolerance toward muslims because of 9/11 and all the other atrocities associated with Islam--this is the time to reflect, get smarter and fully understand the essence of Islam. It can't get worse for muslims than during these trying times. However, our true characters as muslims should transcend the negative perceptions and actions by others. Our behavior will demonstrate true Islam; and how we deal with the world against us, who degrades us will help us move beyond these primitive nature of man.

Tax Paying Citizen:

So you were convicted of money laundering... another words you didn’t pay your taxes? You are not an American Citizen and yet you are referencing your rights under our constitution, you know the one I pay taxes for? I am a citizen, and if I have to pay taxes than what gives you the right to work here, make money here, but not pay the fees (taxes) associated with that privilege. If you didn't want to pay the taxes our government charges for making money here then you should have probably stayed in Canada and made your money there. Sorry Khalid, but you get no pity from me, and your Canadian citizenship affords you protection under their constitution... not ours. I can't start a business in Pakistan, break laws and expect to be covered by their, or anyone else’s constitution because I am not a citizen there! Why should you be allowed to pull that crap here! Maybe I should be able to visit Canada for some free health care without paying into their system, how’s that sound to you? Then I can stop in the duty free store on the way back. Be glad you have any representation at all.

As for Muslim’s not wanting to visit the U.S. because there isn’t any history here and they shouldn’t have to explain themselves to those “protecting” our boarders. Good, don’t explain yourselves and stay out! Hey Omar, why don’t you come interview me so I can tell the Middle East why I don’t want to visit any of their historically rich countries?

MikeKF:

Khalid Awan's story both boils my blood and shames me. My blood boils at the stupidity and incompetence of this administration that has fostered unjust events like Mr. Awan's detainment. And I am shamed that there is no outcry by the American people and, even more so, the American media about cases like Mr. Awan's. While I agree that there is a justifiable perception that Islam condones violence against infidels, including other Muslims perceived to be so, and seems to promote antiquated and unfair practices against women, it is up to Muslims to deal with all that. It is the job of the American government to get the facts straight and get the people who intend harm to America. Casting a wide net in this "post 9/11" world was understandable in the immediate days following the tragedy. But when it became enshrined in law via executive fiat, the US lost the moral high ground and sank to a level very near to the dictatorships that have bred Islamic terrorism. It's Memorial Day weekend. In additon to remembering our war dead, we should reflect on what we have become since 9/11 and if the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice would really want many of the things that have occurred under this administration's so-called war on terror.
God bless America and God forgive us for our stupidity and unjust actions, like those taken against Mr. Awan.

AL:

The extreme paranoia in the US has gone on far too long. Unfortunately, the situation won't change until the polical climate changes -- maybe. Too many US citizens feel the hatred of other countries. US policy has destroyed constitutional freedoms. Delusional people fired this hatred. Unenlightened people perpetuate the animosity. As a result, people are in prison unjustly with no rights.

It's amazing what a bunch of invaders can do in 500 yrs to a continent they took by force from the real owners. My advice: stay in Canada or the UK or any other country that truly understands the meaning of "freedom" & the responsibilities that accompany it. The US really isn't worth the effort any more.

Russ:

Much to my disappointment, the consistent claim of discrimination by the hands of non-muslims and the eerily absent refrain of solidarity by Muslim groups, leaders, or individuals with its homeland (US) or the West, makes me and many, many others question the Muslim's loyalties and this is natural and normal, not bigoted, racist, xenophobic, or any other emotional buzzword used nowadays.

Fort Worth, USA

Kay:

Sorry but I feel little sympathy for you.

Every person on this planet has been affected by the events of terrorism. Life is NOT fair and the innocent always suffer the consequences of evil actions regardless of race or religion.

razz:

I have sympathy for the truly sincere people, however as a whole I have a big problem with a religion that teaches so much intolerance and violence! Don't worry so much about visiting America, we have just cause to be leery! Try this one on for size, how about an American visiting Pakistan or Yemen for instance? You are prime meat for kidnap or worse, say beheading? Oh and just imagine being an "infidel" and try to get into Mecca! Wake up people there is a serious double standard out there. US troops fire on a Mosque that eveyone and their brother knows is a terrorist fire base and the whole Middle East is up in arms! Yet, as I remember Palestinian gunmen occupied Christianities Holiest Shrine, the birth place of Christ, and desicrated it, urine, feces and garbage all over the place. Yet it was offered as a safe haven!!! Would the muslims extend the same courtesy? Islam is in much need of a rennasance as Christianity has had a few. Yes we were once violent but moderernized with the times.

pappy:

Great! Stay in England and love life. America has enough intolerance without adding Muslims to the mix. America does not need Muslim intolerance of other religions, women, democracy, liberal education, personal freedom, different world views, assimilation, perceived slights to its own religon, and jihad at the drop of a hat. Just carry on in merry old England and pass on the ticket to America please.

Anthony:

I agree wholeheartedly. It most certainly isn't worth having to constantly prove you're not a terrorist. Having to always put people at ease, and allay peoples' ridiculous fears that come from ignorance is emotionally exhausting. Muslims shouldn't have to seek validation from anyone (America especially) to tell them who's a "good Muslim", a moderate and who's isn't. People shouldn't have to feel like they're always on public trial and representing the perception of an entire group of people. I'm a young African-american guy, and while our case isn't exactly analogous, I can certainly identify. It's no fun moving through society, feeling like you're always having to prove what you're not and being asked to justify or defend the actions of others.

Roy:

Unfortunately, and unfair as it is, Muslims are reaping what their own have sewed. As the cartoonist put it, when the press talks about terrorists they usually mention Muslims because there are very few Lutheran terrorists. When mainstream Islam denounces the violence of its terrorists worldwide and explains the call to kill the infidels in the Koran, I will have sympathy for the discrimination they are suffering. In the meantime, tough luck.

khalid q awan:

Dear Sir / Madam
I am 46 years old, Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan (Muslim). I was an immigration consultant in Canada and as part of my business , I had an office in New York.
During 2001 immediately after the Sept 11, event the US govt arrested me on Oct 25, 2001 on anonymous call, as a material witness for the 9/11 world trade centre terrorist attack. A detail investigation by the FBI and USA Naval intelligence dept was conducted and I was cleared, but even then govt put me in front of Grand jury , and I was cleared and the case was dismissed by the Grand jury of the US Federal Court .
Approximately after 2 weeks , before I was released from custody the US Govt imposed a new charges of Fraud and money laundering , under the advice of my attorney , I pleaded guilty and I was sentenced to prison for five years (which was four years more, what I pleaded). In which I had already spent 3 years in Detention jail, during the case , I had about 14 months left to finishing my sentence ,(instead of appealing, I preferred to applied for Treaty Transfer to Canada, because if the case is in the appeal, defendant is not eligible for transfer back to his home country).
While at prison, I learned from the case manager Miss Mause, that my citizen was incorrect in the FBOP’s (Federal Bureau of Prison) computer system as Pakistani instead of Canadian.
Its important to note , that all of my Canadian identifications (passport , citizenship card , S.I.N , Health card , Driving license etc) were under FBI’s possession, with a great deal of concern, I wrote a letter to the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, N.Y to notify such mistake and requested them to fix this problem. This is especially important for Treaty Transfer back to Canada.
The Canadian Consulate official sent a letter to the jail to correct my citizenship status, however FBOP ignored the request and the citizenship status in the FBOP computer still reflect Pakistani instead of Canadian (Note:- I would be required to obtain visa to visit Pakistan) .In contrast , the deportation letter received from US Immigration dept, Contained the correct citizenship status of Canada.
At the hindsight, I believe that the FBOP intentionally left the citizenship as Pakistani, so that they could retained me at their facility, while the govt is planning to file new charges against me 3rd time.
Approximately six weeks before my released date on Jan 30 ,2006 I was notified by the FBOP that I was being transferred from Ellenwood , PA to MDC (Metropolitan Detention Centre) in Brooklyn N.Y, it was explained to me, that the purpose of this transfer was in preparation for deportation back to Canada, (after few days, I signed the immigration deportation papers, with my consular Miss Chen).
But immediately after my arriving to MDC Brooklyn, I discovered during a phone call with my family in Montreal, that RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) official had contacted my sister and brother-in-law regarding the whereabouts of my wife and my current situation, there was no explanation given by the RCMP official to the purpose of the call and he left his phone number and asked my wife to call him back immediately, my wife called the RCMP official and left messages in his voice mail. Then the official contacted my brother-in-law again and had asked him to tell my wife not to call again, because there is nothing good nor anything bad.
Meanwhile the AUSA ( United States Attorney) office Investigator and FBI brought me to their office to be interrogated without an attorney present, even AUSA told in the court to the judge on March 16, 2006 that he arranged attorney for me before my arrival from Ellenwood PA to MDC Brooklyn, N.Y, on Transcript; page 11, Transcript line No: 14 to 23.
AUSA:- He (Khalid Awan) was writ in the cause of a grand jury investigation. He clearly had criminal exposure. So to protect his interest I made an application to the duty magistrate for counsel to be appointed.
THE COURT:- Initially he was brought here by a Court to testify before the grand jury?
AUSA:- That is correct, Your Honour.

THE COURT:- When he arrived here, you made arrangements for an attorney to be pointed to request him?
AUSA:- Yes, Your Honour.
This interrogation started with the AUSA office Investigator stating that my family will be arrested in Canada if I refused to answer their questions.
At this point I am certain that my family is in great danger for reasons that I am not aware of. I was scared that my family would be harassed by these people along with the Canadian RCMP official, I strongly believe that the RCMP is doing this intentionally in collaboration with FBI official to further harass me to admit charges, that I never committed.
Without knowledge of the reasons why the Canadian RCMP agency was involved. I was surprised that RCMP official directly approached my family instead of me without proper explanation, and its also shocked for me, that how RCMP got the phone number of my family (because before my arrest, I don’t have any single record in any police dept, of any country).
I was intimated and pushed to the edge during this interrogation, I was determined to provide anything these USA officials wanted to make them happy even is the questions made no sense, because I want them to stop the harassment to my family.
On March 15, 2006 I completed the term of my imprisonment and was to be released from American Custody and deported back to Canada. Before that I was arrested again 3rd time, and charged with providing “material support to a foreign terrorist” and money laundering (to a organization and person, which are not designated by the USA govt and belongs to Sikh religion).
These charges emerged while I was still in prison and without the capability of providing any type of support. It was even difficult for me to get enough financial assistance to pay legal fees. I could not have provided any material support while I was in prison for five years and I could not launder any money because I did not have any.
AUSA filed three counts of indictment against me.
Conspiracy to provide material support.
Provide a material support to the foreign terrorist.
Money laundering to support terrorism.
(Please note, that in my previous case govt charged me for money laundering and fraud from Jan 1999 to 2002 and “its mentioned in the plea-agreement by the AUSA that no further money laundering charges will be brought against defendant from Jan 1999 to April 2002” even then govt indict me for money laundering from 1998 to Nov 2001 (Which is double Jeopardy and violation of 5th Amendment of U.S Constitution.)
In Oct 2006, during pre-trial hearing on the motion’s filed by my attorney the first two counts of my indictment were dismissed by the judge, stating that there is a lack of facts and figures.
After two weeks AUSA re-indicted me again. I believe this is a desperate act of the AUSA to cover up a huge embarrassment . Further this hastily drawn indictment was full of factual errors and creative legal theories.
Since I was first arrested by the American govt, I believe that I have been singled out, isolated and discriminated against primarily because of my race and religion, in addition to the fact that I don’t know any information that the American govt is trying to pressure out of me.
I do not understand the American laws and this is what led to my pleading guilty in the first case. I have difficulty understanding the new charges also.
I have been charged under, section 2339(a) of Title 18 of the United States code, which makes it illegal to provide material support to a foreign terrorist.
Please understand, I am not a terrorist, I do not know any terrorist and I have had no connections with or to any known or unknown terrorist. I have been incarcerated for last 5 years and I had no money to provide or launder.
The law enforcement have in America is pressuring me to provide information to them that I really do not have or know. I am a Canadian Citizen and nearly all of my family is in Canada, including my wife and kids. I don’t know any information to tell them to help their investigation.
Because of this , I am being treated unfairly and my rights under the American constitution are being violated. I am being held here in further detention against my will for crimes which I could have never committed, because I was in prison.
I believe, that I am a victim of the discrimination that was outlined in the July 3, 2006 issue of Time magazine (Page 29, column 3). In this article section 2339(a) & (b) are discussed and criticized “as most suspects are charged under these two sections. However, the justice dept here in America admits that of the more than 218 guilty pleas that it has obtained, most are for minor investigation issues that are uncovered deeding the course of their terrorism investigation. This suggest, according to the article that the Attorney General’s office have is not concerned about the rights or fairness or the manner in which it achieves convictions for the people they arrest. Furthermore, criticizes have noted that one of the patterns to emerge from these domestic prosecutions is that suspect seen too incompetent to carry out the deeds they are accused of. The Deputy Attorney General acknowledges that the Dept of Justice’s goal is “ preventions through prosecution’s” and this is done with no regard for an individual’s rights.
I agree that these guilty of terrorism should be prosecuted . But as the above mentioned article suggest , innocent people should not be targeted because of their race or religion.
I am not a terrorist and I should not be targeted and treated unfairly and unjustly.
I need your assistance desperately in my case, as I believe that I am being treated unjustly here. I would like to send you my attorney’s contact information and provide you with legal documents related to my case, so that you may become more familiar with my situation.
Please also note, that I appeared in the court , for no guilty of my 2nd superseding indictment on Aug 02, 2006 and on Aug 03, 2006 FBOP officials placed me in the SHU (Segregation Housing Unit) out of these months, I placed in the SHU isolation from Aug 03, 2006 to March 6, 2007 for unknown “Pending Investigation” in these 215 days of my segregation and isolation, I don’t have a single phone call access to my family, no legal calls to my attorney and Canadian Council, my legal mail opened in my absence, no medical treatment for my injured shoulder (even I went for hunger strike for 3 and half day) I harassed by the various jail officials and lot of other problems too which already been submitted in the attention of the FBOP higher authorities, but no action taken on them, after writing the court, instead of receiving the response or any action on my complaints, jail officials removed /moved me from MDC federal facility to Nassau County Jail .
My suffering has gone on for far too long, and I need your help to bring my suffering to an end. I want to return home to my family, because my imprisonment was injustice and will remain a great injustice forever.
May God bless you and be with you in your efforts to champion the cause of human rights, and the suffering of innocent prisoners and restore hope, faith and love to peoples all over the world.
Sincerely,
KHALID AWAN
FBOP NO. 50959-054

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